Just like developers follow the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) likewise testers also follow the Software Testing Life Cycle which is called as STLC. It is the sequence of activities carried out by the testing team from the beginning of the project till the end of the project.
It takes a sequence of steps that are carried out in order to validate the software. In STLC process, each activity is carried out in a planned and systematic way.
Below are the phases of STLC:
- Requirement analysis
- Test Planning
- Test case development
- Environment Setup
- Test Execution
- Test Cycle Closure
Diagram – Different stages in Software Test Life Cycle
What is Entry and Exit Criteria?
Entry Criteria: Entry Criteria gives the prerequisite items that must be completed before testing can begin.
Exit Criteria: Exit Criteria defines the items that must be completed before testing can be concluded
You have Entry and Exit Criteria for all levels in the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)
This is the very first phase of Software testing Life cycle (STLC). During this phase of STLC, analyze and study the requirements. In case of any confusion the QA team may setup a meeting with the clients and the stakeholders (Technical Leads, Business Analyst, System Architects and Client etc.) in order to clarify their doubts. This phase helps to identify the scope of the testing.
Once the QA team is clear with the requirements they will document the acceptance Criteria and get it approved by the Customers.
Activities to be done in Requirement analysis phase are given below:
- Analyzing the System Requirement specifications from the testing point of view
- Preparation of RTM that is Requirement Traceability Matrix
- Identifying the testing techniques and testing types
- Prioritizing the feature which need focused testing
- Analyzing the Automation feasibility
- Identifying the details about the testing environment where actual testing will be done
Deliverables (Outcome) of Requirement analysis phase are:
- Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM)
- Automation feasibility report
- Preparation of test plan/strategy document for various types of testing
- Test tool selection
- Test effort estimation
- Training requirement
- Resource planning and determining roles and responsibilities.
- Test plan /strategy document.
- Effort estimation document.
Test Case Development
This phase involves creation, verification and rework of test cases & test scripts. Test data, is identified/created and is reviewed and then reworked as well. Activities
- Create test cases, automation scripts (if applicable)
- Review and baseline test cases and scripts
- Create test data (If Test Environment is available)
- Test cases/scripts
- Test data
Test Environment setup
This phase includes the setup or installation process of software and hardware which is required for testing the application. In this phase the integration of the third party application is also carried out if required in the project.
After the creation of Test data the Smoke testing is executed on the build in order to check whether the basic functionalities are working fine or not. This phase can be done in parallel with the Test Case Development phase.
Activities to be done in Test Environment Setup phase are given below:
- As per the Requirement and Architecture document the list of required software and hardware is prepared
- Setting up of test environment
- Creation of test data
- Installation of build and execution of Smoke testing on it
Deliverables (Outcome) of Test Environment Setup phase are:
- Test Environment setup is ready
- Test Data is created
- Results of Smoke testing
During this phase the testers will carry out the testing based on the test plans and the test cases prepared. Bugs will be reported back to the development team for correction and retesting will be performed.
- Execute tests as per plan
- Document test results, and log defects for failed cases
- Map defects to test cases in RTM
- Retest the Defect fixes
- Track the defects to closure
- Completed RTM with execution status
- Test cases updated with results
- Defect reports
Test Cycle Closure
Testing team will meet, discuss and analyze testing artifacts to identify strategies that have to be implemented in future, taking lessons from the current test cycle. The idea is to remove the process bottlenecks for future test cycles and share best practices for any similar projects in future. Activities
Activities to be done in Test Cycle Closure phase are given below:
- To evaluate the test completion on the basis of Test Coverage and Software Quality
- Documentation of the learning from the project
- Analyzing the test results to find out the distribution of severe defects
- Test Closure Report preparation
Deliverables (Outcome) of Test Cycle Closure phase are:
- Report of Test Closure
In general, the software testing life Cycle involves planning, preparing, conducting, and reporting of tests. Some of the phases in the STLC are dependent on others; some can happen alongside each other. By understanding each phase in the STLC you can ensure your testing process is efficient and effective.
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